Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 Coming to a Close

As this year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about how much I have been blessed.

When this year started, I began my junior year of college. March marked a year of me recovering and enduring the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with: Depression. And this year, I’ve only had three major anxiety attacks TOTAL, which hasn’t happened since I started having them 11 years ago. 

I knew I wanted/needed to live in Rexburg for the year – I have learned it’s healthier for me to live away from home for a few different reasons – but had no idea how it could be done. When Spring semester started and I paid for tuition and housing, I had $11 left to my name. That’s it. I didn’t have enough to pay for my books (which were about $80), and I barely had anything for groceries.

I had faith God would provide a way. I knew either way, He would support me and give me what I needed to live either in Rexburg or in Utah.

I was/am blessed with good health. I started donating plasma 1-2 times a week in order buy groceries. I applied for two jobs on campus. The first one I was turned away, the second I was asked to complete an evaluation, and then I had an interview. I was offered the job pretty soon after the interview. That was an AMAZING blessing. I’ve had roommate and friends who have been trying for TWO semesters to get a job on-campus and have had no luck. After I got off the phone when I was offered the job, I prayed so hard and tried not to cry and look like a weirdo in public.

I've been able to stay in Rexburg the entire year and not starve and get kicked out because I couldn't pay rent. I had to live off of Pancake mix for a week, go to bed hungry, or make it through an entire day on nothing but a packet of microwave oatmeal. (I did order WAY more pizza then I should have and then had to pay the credit card bill the next time I was paid...I could have saved so much money had I not done that...but I was hungry!!)

I got to teach seminary earlier the year. Something that I count really special and neat, even though it was only two days. I learned more about myself and what is right for me (or not right in this case). I got to feel what it's like to spend lots of time thinking about a class full of teenagers, and got to spend the night after my first teaching experience on my knees, praying for each of them by name, and wanting so badly for them to feel the truth of the Gospel like I did when I was in seminary. For only a two-day experience, it was one of the most intense, frightening, exciting, spiritual, and strengthening things I've ever done. (I can't imagine if I would have continued farther!!) Phew!

And even though I don't live in Utah, I've been able to come and visit for the holidays. I've been able to take shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, toothpaste, etc. from my parents house because of my mom's super coupon skills, and I've never had to buy my own of those things while in college. And I've got awesome grandparents who have been so nice and gracious to help me by contributing some money when I've come to visit.

But ultimately, I am so grateful to have a loving and supporting Father in Heaven, who has made everything in my life possible. Without Him and the testimony I have of Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, I know for a fact I wouldn't have made it last year, and nothing that has happened this year would have even happened.

I'm so grateful for so many people for making this year and everything that has happened in it possible.  Life is crazy. College is crazy. But you play it by ear, keep working, moving forward, trying new things, and sometimes step forward even when you have to step into the dark and put all your trust into someone else.

Life is just great. And such an amazing blessing. I'm excited to see what the next year has in store for me. :)

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